The all-new Lexus RX is here and stunning!
As Lexus’ all-star sales champ, the RX redesign for 2016 is an all-important step in keeping the Big L’s sales and market share near the top of the luxury brand ranks.
To fend of new competition from all sides in this five-seat crossover segment, the RX is dramatically redone in almost every way. First off, the style.
Wearing Lexus’s new design brief and its interesting, unique and captivating creases and angles, the RX is far more exciting to look at than it has been in years. The noses are characterized by slimmer lighting elements, better-integrated spindle grilles with a new macho external shape, and a lower and more premium look to the hood and nose overall. The triple LED low and highbeams are available as an option, joining LED fog and turning lamps and LED blinkers up front for the top trims.
In profile, the new aggression is stylish and sleek – helping to make even the ubiquitous RX shape feel fresh and totally new. Squared off fender flares bring a distinct horizontal shape to their bulge over the 18- or 20-inch wheels. The flares are deeply stamped into the bodywork, allowing their outer edges to be totally smooth and flat. This is in contrast to the deep shoulderlines and panel surfacing in the doors.
Up top, a new glasshouse look is totally blacked-out from A-pillar to D-pillar, where the rear side glass is now just two slim strips of black glass. This helps the car feel low and longer than before, and also sets the style up for a future seven-seat option for the RX. (More on this below)
The RX has always been one of the most comfortable and easy-driving crossovers — and this continues for 2016. The all-new dashboard, seats, controls and tech suite are all the cutting-edge of Lexus tech and style. The F Sport option will be available for the first time on both the RC350 AWD and the RX450h AWD – bringing sportier details inside, available red leather seats and more visual aggression in its brushed-alloy interior panels taking the place of glossy wood.
The glossy Lexus wood is only one of the new choices, however. We see in this Lexus RX450h that there is a new pinstripe wood choice where two types of tree are spliced together for a premium and elegant style. The wide center console looks extra premium — both in how much space it offers up front for pocket clutter and how a wide armrest conveys a truly expensive luxury car.
In the back seat, heated outer perches are new, as is more leg, knee and head room. A deep backrest adjustment lets you get truly relaxed and lounge-y back there, aided by new twin 11.5-inch TV screens attached to the front seatbacks.
JUST FIVE SEATS?
Yes, for now the RX continues as a five-seater. But we are tipped that a seven-seat variant will be arriving shortly after the main models. This may or may not have a new badge, but will carry a $4,000 price premium and be in dealerships by May of 2016. We predict it will be called the RX350L.
The new RX350 and RX450 are deeply refreshed in the powertrain regions. The RX350’s V6 is now upgraded to make 300-horsepower through an all-new eight-speed automatic. The F Sport upgrade is just offered on AWD RX350’s, and should come standard with a new Adaptive Variable Suspension for the first time on an RX. This system promises smoother rides on the highway, a tauter feel in corners and less body lean in hard driving. F Sport drive controls are also a sure thing to change the steering, throttle and transmission programming.
The RX450h hybrid model and the base RX350 are expected to look very similar, as on the smaller NX. The Hybrid actually looks really sharp for this 2016 model-year, with horizontal dark-grey grille slats and blue-tinted L badges.
Similarly, the RX450h F Sport will look just as sporty as the RX350F — aside from the blue badges.
HOW SOON, AND HOW MUCH?!
The RX pricing should be very similar to the current model, with base price ranges in the low $40,000’s up to a max tally of around $55,000 for the loaded RX450h AWD F Sport.
No word yet on how soon the RX will be in showrooms. Based on Lexus’s track record, a July/August arrival seems very likely for the first orders.
2016 Lexus RX350 F Sport